Yup saw this over the weekend on one of the blogs I frequent. It's such as weird decision.
For a company that is supposedly design led, they are effectively making a choice that is contrary to the rest of there corporate branding ideals.
To think that they made this sort of choice due to cost is ludicrous, how much is it going to cost them the re-fit their stores, and produce new literature?
I think they used to use their own custom font called IKEAsans, which is a variant of Futura.
One of the reasons they changed it to something more "generic" was because of worldwide translation, and lack of foreign characters in their custom font. If this is indeed the case, surely it would have still been cheaper to develop their existing font further than change completely?
Yep it was a customised Futura, and that's the exact reason why they changed it. So that the brand was consistent worldwide; due to the lack of Asian characters and some accented characters.
Still, one would think they have more than enough money and a capable design team or the designers they use could customise it further :/ The whole Verdana thing just seems like a bit of a cheap cop-out
Imagine it was a complete accident. The font should have been ikeaSans but when files we're supplied for print they we're not packaged correctly / fonts embedded... or they we're but for some reason an amend had to be made pre press and they we're lost without being noticed.
For whatever reason the font was missing and so it fell back on the default font which happened to be Verdana... being behind schedule proofs were signed off in a rush and the font change un-noticed (I know it sounds ridiculous but maybe they'd been looking at it so much they couldn't see the wood from the trees).
After X Million we're printed it was a tough debate weather to trim them all up, mix with PVA glue and create a new furniture range, get them reprinted or think ah darn it, well we're not wasting these and forking out for them all to be printed again, well just live with it for this run....
Before you know it someone has caught wind of the change and believed it to be an intentional design change..... Bam, loads of free publicity for ikea!
Could you imagine the Marketing exec's luck after the sinking feeling he would have had burdened with the decision of to reprint or not, followed by the absolute fluke of loads of free publicity.